Archive for March, 2018

Feelin’ the Irish


We’ve found some Irish in our ancestry research - more so the Damsel than I, but we’re inclined to celebrate our ethnicity today. It will be the traditional Irish dinner with a special toast with an Irish cocktail recipe that Damsel found.

May you and yours, Irish or not, find the blessings of a good day today.

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Native Cacti

Compass Cactus Christmas Cactus Fishhook Barrel Cactus

I am still taking it easy and relaxing after surgery last Friday, but I wanted to get outside since it is a nice spring-like Arizona day. I took my Canon SL1 up the hill behind the house and took some photos of “stuff” I could see up there.

Once you’re behind the retention walls out back, it is all natural desert. The vegetation and wildlife are typical of the Sonoran Desert. Other than having moved a hedgehog cactus to the lower lot, nothing up there is managed.

The three cacti pictured above are all located in the natural part of the lot. Left to right, they are Compass Cactus, Christmas Cactus and Fishhook Barrel Cactus. I don’t know (or can’t remember) the binomial botanical names for these three. Click on the images to enlarge.

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IRS Withholding Calculator is Back Online

irs-logo.pngI mentioned in my two Federal Income Tax posts about filing and tweaking withholding that the IRS Calculator was offline due to the GOP Tax Reform Bill being enacted this year. I went back to the link to check the status of the calculator and it was back online. Today, I decided to check the numbers I calculated from IRS Notice 1036 and my withholding spreadsheet last month.

The calculator requires some accurate estimates of our 2018 income and deductions, so I gathered up our 2017 Tax Return and my spreadsheet before starting to input numbers. There is a list of things you will need to have handy on the calculator main page.

First, the calculator asks about filing status and whether someone else can claim you as a dependent. Then, it asks about income sources and if you and your spouse are over 65 years old as of January 1, 2019. There is also some child and dependent care credit questions, none of which are applicable to us. Finally, the user inputs income and adjustments before submission.

When I got my result report, the bottom line is that we are over withholding by about $785. We decided not to change anything at this time until we see how our expenses and deductions start to play out for the year. I made a note in the electronic calendar to check things out again in the fall.

The IRS withholding calculator may be found at this link.

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Bishop’s Cap Flowers

Bishop’s Cap Flowers

We have had this cactus for a very long time. We originally bought it at a garden shop near Chandler, AZ way back in the late 1990’s. It lived with us in California and then moved with us to Arizona. It gave us lots of flowers over the years. Then, a couple of years ago, It started growing another barrel on top of the crown. Lately, the flower buds have come out on the new growth.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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